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Why Use a Tire Carrier for Your Sprinter or Adventure Van?

Hello everyone, John here with Owl, and in this video, we want to answer one of the questions we get most frequently from you:

"Why should I put my spare tire on the back door instead of underneath where it is from the factory?"

Well, if you're planning to stay on pavement all the time and don't want to explore beautiful trails like the one I'm on right now, and maybe even deliver packages for Amazon, then it's fine to keep your tire underneath. If you stay on paved roads, it’s not a big deal. But...

REASON #1: (Easily) Carry a Full Size Spare Tire

If you go off-roading and want to get off the beaten path like many of us do with our adventure vans, you're going to want to carry a full-size spare tire.

Now, can you fit a full-size spare underneath?

You can, with adaptation kits and so on, but getting the tire in while you’re in your driveway is one thing; getting it out when you have a flat is another.

When you're out on the trail, you're probably going to lower your tire pressures, which increases the chance of one of those tires coming off the bead.

If you don’t know what a bead is, it's the part inside the tire that interfaces with the lip of the wheel, ensuring they are airtight. If the bead pops off, your tire isn't destroyed, but it can be very hard to set it up again on the trail.

So, you want easy access to a full-size spare.... and you get exactly that with a Tire Carrier that unscrews in (quite literally) 30 seconds.

REASON #2: Don't Get Stuck on Bad Road (Important!)

Why can't you keep it underneath?

Here’s the problem: look at this terrain. Does it look like your driveway? See how crowned it is?

There's a reason for a differential skid right there. Notice the limited ground clearance. It might not seem like much, but in reality, there's about two inches between the differential and the dirt. This dirt is also muddy because it rained last night, so the last thing I want to do is crawl under there to get the tire out.

The real problem is, if I drop that cage right now, I can't get the tire out. The only other option is to jack the vehicle up, but on uneven terrain, your jack will likely sink into the mud, making the vehicle unstable to crawl under. I would never do it.

So, to finally answer the question: can you keep it underneath? Yes, but you risk not being able to open the cage.

REASON #3: Your Spare Tire Could Pop!

Additionally, if you're on a rocky trail, rocks can puncture the sidewall of the spare, and you might not know it until you need it!

These are a few reasons why we believe it's important to put your tire on an expedition tire carrier or ladder tire carrier. It keeps you safe on the trails and provides some insurance when you're off the beaten path.

Hopefully, that answers some of the questions for those wondering why we do it. It’s not just for looks. 


Remember, if you have any questions, we have our van experts standing by at all times. Give us a call at (866) 695-8267 and we'll be happy to help you.

No call centers, no out of state representatives - just our van experts at our HQ in Arizona.

More soon,
John Willenborg

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